Ep. 154 – Anthony Sarandrea started off door knocking and built a company to $100k+ per day helping over 1M customers a year
Anthony started off door knocking and built a company to $100k+ per day with over 1M customers a year. He is recognized as one of the top customer generators in the world, running a team that drives over 1 million customers each year.
Today, he runs a profitable portfolio of websites ranging from commerce to content blogs that combined reach millions of buyers every month.
He is consistently featured as one of the tops “under 30 year old” entrepreneurs and was featured alongside Snapchat’s founder Evan Spiegel as one of the “Entrepreneurs that are changing the world”.
Most passionate about
Today we help match Americans with different financial products. We help them make more money or, more often, in our case - save more money.
We get millions of people a day visiting us online, with our advertisement and help them with different financial problems they are facing, educate them, and connect them with various financial partners that we work with. We help them with their insurance programs, mortgage refund, and with all the bills they are having, and how to make it easier on them.
It's funny how it started. I wanted to become a personal trainer, help people lose weight, and live healthier. I started down that path, and I realized that very quickly it rose to someone's financial problems. That people might not have enough money to eat healthily or not to work two jobs and be able to work out and be with their kids.
And then, I became more aware of words like divorce, suicide, depression, anxiety, and most of the time, when we looked deeper, we found out that at the top of the chart was financial issues as a massive cause of that.
I don't have an advising or accountant background. But the idea was to find what these customers need. So it was mainly about listening on one hand and understanding the different existing solutions on the other.
Anthony’s best advice for entrepreneurs
I believe in fail up, fail fast, fail often. I love to tell the great story of inventing the PalmPilot. If an entrepreneur would decide to invent the PalmPilot would probably start with the development, then go to raise money, then creating it, not happy with it, creating it again and come to the 6th or 8th version and all of a sudden it’s a year later.
While the brilliant entrepreneur Jeff Hawkins that had the idea for the personal digital assistant (PDA) that would eventually become the PalmPilot, carried a wooden block with him as his mock-up before making any step forward.
I welcome the people that tell us we didn’t take good care of them. I embrace them.
I encourage the listeners to learn the term Method Actor. And to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. When I built my business, I literally decided to feel like my customers that experienced financial difficulties. I stopped paying bills, I took a loan and didn’t pay it back on time, I had to talk with debt collectors, I was afraid to answer the phone... - it led me to take a totally different approach in connecting with my customers.
You, as an entrepreneur, should be your target market. Fully put yourself in your customers’ shoes and really understand them.
Biggest failure with customers
The biggest failure I had specifically is a failure with my team that directly affected our customers. I had somebody of my team that crushed our server, and as I told you, we have millions of people coming into our site daily, which means for a day, it’s six figures plus in revenue went down because code was misplaced.
It’s not that I was too harsh or mean, but I wasn’t too thrilled about the issue. I still see the long-term effects of my actions that day. The individual is scared to take chances now because they are afraid to fail for being aggressive. He is currently playing crisis avoidance versus a success finder.
But fast forward to today, one of our media buyers missed tender of $40,000 within 4 minutes. And I remember taking the lesson from that coder, so I said - it’s awesome! And that media buyer was so stressed about it and didn’t understand. And I said these things are going to happen and it will be allowing you thinking more aggressively in your head and I love it. Keep going.
And I saw that media buyer took bigger risks that enabled him to find some great holes for us that allowed us to get these $40000 back probably tens full. That wouldn’t happen if I was reacting too hard.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
I would like to talk about my success in finding more balance. I started to experience burn out, and I felt that it hurt my relationships, my happiness, and even my work. I began to take active actions to stop working during my evenings and give myself more free time from work.
I feel it became a part of our entrepreneurial culture, to talk about “how little did you sleep tonight.” "...I don't see my kids, but I drive a Lamborghini!" It becomes a rats’ race.
I felt a slave to the prison that I have built.
Most recommended technological tool
There is a site called clarity.fm where you can get advice and talk with high-level experts for as long as you want, you can book a 15 minutes call with the founder of a 100 million dollar company for an hourly fee.
It’s a phenomenal site, a phenomenal market place that I highly recommend.
Anthony’s key success factor
Philosophically, my focus has never been about making more money. I jock because I made millions of dollars, and I share a condo with my best friend. And it allows me to play differently in my competition because they are focus on chasing money while I'm chasing impact, I'm chasing culture for the team. Those are the things that are more important to me.
I think that's why we have a massively successful business. By not focusing on that (making money), it allows us to achieve that. Even though I drive a nice sports car now, it never was my intention.
My motivation was to provide a job for my family and friends, and then it was about helping tons of customers. My biggest pay-day is when I go and see our Facebook messages or our support emails. Or when we call customers to reach testimonials, and people cry about how they were able to buy school supplies to their kids. That's where I get paid.
Clarity.fm - Make faster & better decisions to grow your business. Clarity is your lifeline that instantly connects you with battle-tested advice from entrepreneurs. Find and schedule a call in minutes.
Because we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering a mountain, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?
My mountain is employing my close friends and family. For me, that was a massive motivation. I started out, I made great money and had no one to share it with. So I thought it would be great if I can help my friends and family. Now suddenly the close friends and family conversations become around the work conditions.
That’s probably the heaviest and hardest mountain I’ve been climbing and continue to climb.
Want to learn how to choose the best Name and Logo? Not sure which customers to focus on right now and where they are? Want to build your website, or trying to figure out how and what content to share on social media?